ETHICS AND THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN NIGERIA ABSTRACT This study was carried out with the aim of appraising ethics and the accounting profession in Nigeria. In order to actualize the objectives of the study, various literature and theoretical issues were discussed. The instrument used for the purpose of this research was gathered through primary source. The mass of information generated from the questionnaires was summarized in form of table and analyzed using simple percentage. The researcher administered one hundred (100) questionnaires to respondents, out of which ninety-five (95) were retrieved for the purpose of presenting and analyzing responses to issues raise in the questionnaires. The data collected was analyzed using Pearson correlation analysis. The findings from analysis revealed among other things that there is a positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and members moral principles. We therefore recommend that, the accountants should be strengthened to respond quickly to the egregious abuses and malpractice in the world of business and impose sanctions on offenders. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Background of the Study Statement of the Research Problem Objectives of the Study Hypothesis Scope of the Study Significance of the Study Limitation References CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Concept and Issues of Accounting Ethics Ethical Behaviour of Accounting Professionals Professional Ethics and Qualitative Characteristics of Financial Reporting Controversial Ethical Issues in the Accounting Profession Empirical Studies on Ethics and Accounting Profession References CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY Introduction Research Design The Population and Sample Sources of Data The Research Instrument Operationalization of Variables Model Specification and Analysis Plan References CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Introduction Descriptive Statistics Research Hypotheses CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction Summary of Findings Conclusion Recommendations Bibliography Appendix CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Every society has its own values and expectation and it is this that determines what is ‘right and wrong’ in the society. Even creation has naturally endowed man with the ability to discern what is right and what is wrong. It is in view of these values and expectation in relationship to human conduct that we study ethics. Etymologically, ethics is derived from the Latin word ‘ethicus’ which is also derived from the Greek word ‘Ethikos’ which means customary behaviour, morals and character, Inegbenebor (2006). According to Oxford Advance Dictionary, ethics are moral principles that control or influence a person’s behaviour. It also refers to that branch of philosophy that deals with moral principles. All recognized professions have developed well-defined code of conduct for its members. These codes are basically more of guidelines than actual rules. It is this code of conduct that we call ethics. According to Osazee (1991), ‘a set of rules and standards governing the conduct of members of a profession is called professional ethics. A professional is a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation. Thus, a person who practices a profession is a professional. Accountancy is a profession and a person who practices this profession is called an accountant. An understanding of the above concept of ethics, accountancy and professionalism is the focus of this study as it relates to Nigeria. Accountancy practices in Nigeria is under the control and supervision of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria or ICAN for short, not relegating Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). It is worthy to note that ANAN’s Code of Conduct does not depart from that of ICAN. ICAN Act of 1965 principal objectives is to maintain high standards of professionals practice and conduct by its members. Members are liable to disciplinary action if they deviate from the guidelines that ensure professionalism. The recent code of ethics released by ICAN indicates among other things the nature and duties of chartered accountants as professionals. Members serving as professionals either as accountants or auditors owe certain duties to the public at large, including those who retain or employ them, to the profession itself and to all members of that profession, even though such duties may at times be at variance with his own personal interest in practice of accountancy and auditing in Nigeria. The Code ethics together with ICAN’s bye laws as contained in the Act are essential in assisting members to know how to deal with problems relating to professional conduct so as to avoid to a large extent professional misconduct. Professional accountancy misconduct means any act or default likely to bring discredit to a member, the institute or the accountancy profession. ICAN’s Code of Conduct resembles the guidelines of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Code of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). The code provides guidance to members in form of fundamental principles and statement (ethical standards). The guidelines provided by the Code are applicable to members engaged in practice, employees of practicing firms as well as students and graduate members. Members of the accounting profession are under obligation to comply with ethical guidelines that ensure professional discipline and impact on public perception of their integrity and the quality of professionals service rendered to the public. It is in the light of this that this project is been undertaken. STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM Corporate entities in recent times suffer from huge financial losses, fraud, financial scandals and collapse, one of the major causes to this problem of corporate failure had been attributed to the accounting profession. Accountants have been seen to have failed in their responsibility to provide professionals advise to investors and shareholders due to lack of ethical behaviour on the part of these accountants in practice. The study is of the view of carryout an investigation on ethical challenges being faced by accountants and at the end of this study to proffer solution that will minimize the unethical behaviour do exhibited by accountants in practice. The following research questions have been formulated to achieve the objectives of this study. Is there positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and members behaviour in practice? What is the relationship between ethics for accountants as contained in the accountancy membership guidelines and members behaviour in practice? Is there positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and tax practices in Nigeria? OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The following are the major objectives of this research: To determine the relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and members behaviour in practice. To examine the relationship between ethics for accountants as contained in the accountancy membership guidelines and members behaviour in practice. To ascertain the relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and tax practices in Nigeria. HYPOTHESIS In order to achieve the main objective of this research, the following hypotheses were stated. The hypothesis will be stated using the chi-square. Ho: There is no positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and members behaviour in practice. H1: There is a positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and members behaviour in practice. Ho: There is no positive relationship between ethics for accountants as contained in the accountancy membership guidelines and members behaviour in practice. H1: There is a positive relationship between ethics for accountants as contained in the accountancy membership guidelines and members behaviour in practice. H0: There is no positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and tax practices in Nigeria. H0: There is a positive relationship between the code of ethics for accountants and tax practices in Nigeria SCOPE OF THE STUDY The study shall focus on ethics and the effect on professional accountancy in Nigeria. This research shall concentrate on a time period of about seven years which is a period of 2005 to 2012. The sample size for this research work will be 100. This will be carried out using the random sampling technique. This research will focus on professional accountants from the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria with major emphasis on accountants in Edo State. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study will be of relevance to the following: Future researchers: This study will be relevant to future researchers, students, academicians as it will serve as a spring board i.e. literature review for them. Serve as a guide to the public: This research work will enable the public, shareholders and intending investors to know the ethical standards that are expected of a professional accountant. Creation of more awareness among practicing accountants: This study will help professional accountants and intending accountants to be fully aware of the ethical standards on ground and the consequences of failure to adhere to them. Reduction in fraudulent practices: with a full exposure to the ethical code in the accounting profession in Nigeria, accountants in practice will be less involved in fraudulent practices and this will be of great benefit to corporate bodies, the government and to the society in general. LIMITATION A study of this nature cannot be carried out without constraints. A major limitation in this research work is the time duration which is insufficient to cover more geographical locations. The low response rate from respondents is also a limiting factor including the imprecise measurement of variables. The sample size and the inability to obtain a completely random sample is also a limiting factor to this research work. REFERENCES Agbonifoh, B. A. and Yomere, G. O. (1999), ‘Research Methodology’, Uniben Press, Benin City. Igbinosun, F. E. (2002), ‘Research Methodology Made Simple’, Ribway Printers & Publishers Limited, Benin City. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Sixth Edition).
ACCOUNTING ETHICS AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCEACCOUNTING ETHICS AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCE TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page Table of Content CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study 1.2 Statement of Research Problem 1.3 Research Hypothesis 1.4 Objectives of the Study 1.5 Research Questions 1.6 Scope of the... More
EFFECT OF COMPUTER ON THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONEFFECT OF COMPUTER ON THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION (A CASE STUDY OF ASABA ALUMINIUM COMPANY DELTA STATE) PROPOSAL “The effect of computer on the accounting profession” (A case study of the Asaba Aluminium company, Delta state). The research work is focused on the following: 1. Highlight of the... More
MANAGEMENT BENEFITS OF ACCOUNTING PROFESSION TO BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONMANAGEMENT BENEFITS OF ACCOUNTING PROFESSION TO BUSINESS ORGANIZATION ABSTRACT This research work management benefits of accounting profession to business organization is aimed at x – raging the various ways the profession has helped the management in their plans singe 1970 to ate .The researcher... More
ETHICS OF RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE IN NIGERIAETHICS OF RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA ABSTRACT This study is intended to examine the high scale and increasing frequency of violence witnessed in Nigeria today. As a study in ethics, it is mainly concerned with examining how peoples of Nigeria evaluate the rightness and wrongness of violence. It... More
BUSINESS FAILURE AND ACCOUNTS PROFESSION IN NIGERIABUSINESS FAILURE AND ACCOUNTS PROFESSION IN NIGERIA ABSTRACT The Nigeria economy within the first half of this century experienced quite a lot of business failure. Business failure can be defined as the inability of a particular business enterprise to continue to function as a going concern this... More